"Shrinkflation" leads to 2529 products reducing in size

But the ONS has disputed this notion, arguing that the European import price of sugar sank to its lowest level on record in March and that cocoa prices have dropped sharply since 2015.

Previous year it was reported that packets of Maltesers had reduced by 15 per cent, while Toblerone increased the size of spacing between its distinctive "mountain" chunks reducing it by 12 per cent.

The government's statistics body said that more than 2,000 products had been scaled back in size since 2012, something they call "shrinkflation" because consumers get less for their money.

In all the ONS said some 2,529 products it monitored in the United Kingdom shrank in size between January 2012 and June 2017.

For all those shoppers who feel chocolate bars, cartons of drink, toilet rolls and countless other products have been getting smaller, now comes official confirmation.

Some analysts have warned that the drop in the value of the pound, since the Brexit vote may have added pressure to costs.

The same month, Mars too pointed to rising costs for its decision to shrink the size of Maltesers packets by 15%.

Most of the items getting smaller were food products. Doritos have downsized from 200g a packet to 180g, Peperamis have lost 2.5g and are now 22.5g and a big box of Coco Pops has been reduced from 800g to 720g. They tend to compensate for this phenomenon by either increasing their shop prices, or shrinking the size of the product.

Brexit was likewise dismissed as a factor in shrinkflation.

Summing up its findings, the ONS said: "No, you're not imagining it - some of your favourite candies really are shrinking".

"Health will also be a factor driving change in branded and own brand foods and drinks".

Since 2012, the inflation rate for products such as chocolate was actually 1.22% higher, when the smaller size was taken into account.

The ONS said the price of sugar and cocoa have "fluctuated" over the last five years.

The BBC quoted the ONS as saying: "Our analysis doesn't show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point to a Brexit effect".

It noted: "Furthermore, others (including Which?) had been observing these shrinking pack sizes long before the European Union referendum, and several manufacturers have denied that this is a major factor".

  • Rogelio Becker